Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fukushima can't be fixed, let us be honest about it

There is an overly optimistic new blog in town about the Fukushima catastrophe. Fix Fukushima+ blog has the positive attitude of "hey, there is a problem, let's fix it". At the very least it does not try to hide the head in the sand as do the Japanese and North American authorities with the usual police state motto of "nothing to see here, move along". 

But it is totally unrealistic, sadly enough. The plan has several flaws but mostly just imagines that:
Since the US has battlefield atomic bombs in its inventory, it is likely that the defense department has developed radiation hardened battle robots.

Well, not quite. At least nobody ever heard of them and they seem most unlikely to exist, because robots like everything else fails against radioactivity. Radiation is not a mere poison, which only affects organic or certain materials and can be usually neutralized with an antidote: radiation is the destruction of matter itself. No material is radiation-proof, they may be more or less sensible but all them will collapse at some point, also the same as humans can't go around with thick lead armors to protect themselves from radiation (and only up to a point), the same happens to robots. It's mostly material density what acts as shield from radiation and that's why nuclear refuges are built deep underground (deep enough?) but neither humans nor robots can go around with such kind of massive weight, much less be able to work with it (they need joints, refrigeration, etc.)

Now, prove me wrong of course. I would be the first one happy about such a brutal catastrophe being able to be fixed. But being realistic that's not possible. It'd be easier, so to say, to use time-traveling technology and thwart nuclear energy development... but of course that's as much science fiction as radiation-proof robots able to act in extreme radiation environments. Nope. 

The reality is that Fukushima is impossible to fix. The only thing we can do is to be honest about it: evacuate North Honsu (at the very least the children) and probably other Pacific Ocean areas as soon as radiation levels become dangerous. That probably implies evacuating large metropolis like Tokyo (now), Los Angeles (soon quite reasonably), etc.

But they are not going to do that: there are too many business at stake and human life is meaningless to them in comparison to profit. Also within capitalist parameters, the huge amounts of resources needed to relocate so many people and reorganize their productive lives elsewhere are simply impossible to manage because there's no central planning authority, much less one which cares about the lives of children or people in general.

So they do the only thing conceivable to their mindset: extend and pretend until death catches them and the problem is transferred to someone else.

But that is simply not acceptable. It is not just not acceptable for the millions of Japanese who have already been declared expendable and told to smile in face of certain and painful death for themselves and their children, it is not acceptable for Humankind, very especially those who live around the North Pacific Ocean, whose waters are already being polluted with an endless flow of long-lived radioactive elements. 

But let's not forget that water is an open system: the waters of the Pacific are still not contained: they evaporate as mist and rain down who knows where, the fish captured over there goes to the tables all over the World without any effective radiation control system of any sort.

The reality is that Fukushima is here to stay, that it will keep polluting the World with an almost endless flow of radiation and that we can't do much about it other than, first of all acknowledge the extreme severity of the problem, and, then, evacuate the most damaged areas and stop treating human beings, notably the children, as expendable guinea pigs for the most macabre test ever!

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